Whoever is Simple

Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 1:13 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 9 (Quoting select vv. ESV).

Wisdom Calls (vv. 1-6)

Wisdom has built her house;
she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her young women to call
from the highest places in the town,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks sense she says,
“Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”

Who are the simple? They are those receptive to the teaching of wisdom or of folly; lacking in wisdom, in understanding, or in good sense; and/or the unwise, the inexperienced, the naïve and/or the weak, etc. They are those who are vulnerable to be persuaded one way or another, who don’t already have their beliefs all ironed out and are not wise in the ways of this world. They are the ones more likely to respond to the truth with child-like faith, totally transparent with regard to their spiritual condition, and willing to be completely abandoned (yielded, surrendered) to Christ and to his cross.

This is a call to those willing to listen to hear what wisdom has to say, but not the wisdom of this world, but the wisdom of God and of His Word. This is reminiscent of Isaiah 55 where the call is to listen to God, and to eat (partake of) what is good, righteous and holy. Yet, it is also a call to forsake wicked ways and unrighteous thoughts and to turn (or return) to the Lord, that he might have compassion on them and pardon their sins. They are to leave their simple (naïve or foolish) ways, and live and walk in the way of spiritual insight, which is found in God’s Word, the Bible (Gen. to Rev.).

The bread and the wine, as well, are reminiscent of Christ Jesus, who is the bread of life, the living Word. The bread is symbolic of his body, given up for us on a cross so that we could be set free from slavery to sin and live new lives in Christ to his righteousness. The wine is a symbol of his blood which was shed for us on that cross for the remission of sins, to free us from both the punishment of and bondage (addiction) to sin. We are to eat (partake) of this bread and drink of this cup, which means to be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and to be resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

The Beginning (v. 10)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

So, if we are willing and receptive to hear what wisdom has to say, and to heed what we hear, where do we begin? We begin with the fear of the Lord. Now, this is not fear in the sense of being afraid of God, but it is fear in the sense of respecting, revering, honoring, listening to and obeying him.

Too many people, even many Christians (or professing Christians) don’t listen to and don’t heed the wisdom of God, because truly they don’t revere Him, because many are not being taught to honor him. Instead, they are being taught that God’s grace to us provides us merely with an escape from the punishment of sin and the promise of heaven when we die, but that nothing is required on our part other than some non-descript faith, which does not die with Christ to sin, and thus is not resurrected with him to newness of life.

And, so we have many, many people who are convinced they are saved and going to heaven when they die, but that they can continue living in sin, because no repentance or obedience or submission to Christ is required. This teaching makes a mockery of what Jesus did in becoming sin for us on that cross in order to put our sin to death so that we would no longer walk in sin, but so we would now walk according to the Spirit. And, it is also a slap in the face to God the Father, who gave his Son up for us, to set us free.

So, if we truly want wisdom, and true freedom in Christ, then we need to know who God is, that he is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that he is love and grace, yes, but that he is also justice and righteousness. Because of that, his goal in saving us is that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness.

Folly (vv. 13-18)

The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
And to him who lacks sense she says,
“Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
But he does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

Wisdom, nonetheless, is not the only voice calling out. Folly is also calling out to anyone who will listen and who will heed her voice. Folly is both deceptive and seductive, as it lures its listeners into believing that they can live sinful lifestyles and still go to heaven when they die. This teaching comes from the very pit of hell, and Satan is its author.

For, the Word of God (wisdom) teaches us that if we want to come after Christ, that we must deny self, take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. It says that if we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self that we will lose our lives for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die to sin and self), we will have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-25; cf. Rom. 8:1-17).

Folly says that we can believe in Jesus, be forgiven of our sins, have the hope of eternal life with God, but that we can still live and walk in sin. And, many are buying into this lie, because it sounds good to their itching ears. They are convinced that God’s grace covers it all, and that their salvation is secure forever, even though they willfully and continuously choose the way of sin over the way of righteousness. Yet, the Bible teaches the opposite. It teaches that if we walk in the ways of our sinful flesh, that we will die in our sins, we won’t have the hope of eternal life with God, and that heaven is not our eternal destiny, but hell is. So, we need to take this seriously!

Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Adelaide A. Pollard / George C. Stebbins

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

 

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